On Saturday, August 24th nearly a thousand people marched to commemorate the 50th Anniversary of the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom. Several hundred gathered at Chapman Square to march to the South Waterfront for a Rally filled with incredible speakers and musical performances.
The March and Rally was organized by the Albina Ministerial Alliance for Justice and Police Reform in collaboration with the Urban League of Portland, NAACP of Portland, ACLU of Portland, Ecumenical Ministries of Oregon, and several labor and other community based organizations.
The community came together to commemorate the historic 1963 march and to organize around civil rights issues here in Oregon. We share a deep understanding that there has been serious change over the past five decades, but recognize that the issues of poverty and mass incarceration show there is still room for progress.
“Ironically the same issues that compelled the first march, jobs, police brutality, housing, health care, equality are the same pressing issues of today,” said Jo Ann Hardesty, from AMA Coalition for Justice & Police Reform.
Basic Rights Oregon and PFLAG (Portland, Portland Black Chapter) partnered to bring together supporters to show strong and visible support from LGBT communities in the fight for Civil Rights.
According to Jeana Frazzini, Executive Director of Basic Rights Oregon, “Fifty years ago, Bayard Rustin led the organizing of the March on Washington. As a Black gay man, the intersections of racial justice and justice for gay and transgender communities were borne through his work. Today, gay and transgender people of color continue to fight for visibility and equality. Many gay and transgender Oregonians know the sting of discrimination, and we know that justice means justice for everyone.”
Speakers at the event reflected on the importance in recognizing the history of the Anniversary as well as calling for a new day in the fight for Civil Rights and a re-commitment to social and economic justice.
“This means I must fight for reproductive rights as hard as I fight for immigration as hard as I fight for economic justice as hard as I fight against white supremacy as hard as I fight against homophobia. When I take a moment to stop and think I know these issues are all connected to mine. My issues are your issues, your issues are mine. We must know this and we must live it,” said Khalil Edwards, Basic Rights Oregon Racial Justice and Alliance Building organizer, during his speech at the Rally on Saturday.
The March and Rally was a true example of communities coming together as was reflected in the audience and the many speakers that graced the stage.
A core part of Basic Rights Oregon’s work & values around racial justice is to take action. We are in a critical moment both nationally and locally to fight against constant attacks on justice and safety.
Please support us as we move forward in our commitment for racial justice.
Category: News: Racial Justice